The word ‘Africa’ is an exotic one and usually goes hand in hand with images of wildlife and natural landscape. A majority of visitors coming to Africa will make it a point to go on a safari, with Kenya Tanzania safaris being one of the most popular. There is nothing more magical than a close encounter with some of the world’s most fascinating species.
Most of the animals you see in the safari are unique to Africa, including the Big Five.
Here’s a list of 10 iconic safari animals you will see on a Tanzania tour:
Seeing the king of the animal kingdom in its natural habitat is a thrilling sight a Tanzanian safari can offer. You’ll be sure to see this member of “The Big 5” on day 5 of the 15 Day Discover Kenya Tanzania Tour when visiting the Sweetwaters Game Sanctuary. As much as one would like to see a lion kill its prize prey, you are more likely to see one nodding than an active one on the prowl. Lions are known to rest 20 hours a day, but besides that they are very active animals. You will usually see them living in packs of five to 10 adult lions.
No experience can beat seeing an African elephant in the wild for the first time. The largest living terrestrial animal on earth can be overwhelming because of its size alone. Elephants are usually found in sub-Saharan habitats such as forests, deserts and savannahs. Elephants are generally peaceful and only attack when threatened. Therefore, it’s important to make sure you are with a guide well trained in handling these animals.
The tallest animal on earth. One would think that they are easy to spot on a safari. However, their skin tone makes easy for them to hide in the bushes. There are nine subspecies of giraffes found across Africa, all of which have their own distinctive features.
Found only in Africa, the African leopard is a unique subspecies of leopard. Among all the animals in the safari, they are the hardest to see as they are aware of human activity and are usually awake at night. Leopards are known to use trees as observation tools to catch prey. Leopards should not be taken lightly as they have the ability to climb, swim and drag heavy weight prey around for a sufficient amount of time.
Africa is home to two species of rhinos, the black rhino and the white rhino. It can be hard to tell them apart as they are both greyish in colour. They have become endangered species as the survival of both is threatened by the illegal business of rhino poaching. The black rhino is at a higher risk as fewer than 5,000 are left in the wild. Rhinos are among the heaviest mammals in the world and in saying that they are still very alert of their surroundings which makes them dangerous animals.
The fastest of the big cats, cheetahs are extremely beautiful and agile. They are capable of going up to 112 km per hour, making them the fastest land animal. They are endangered and there are only around 7,100 left in the world. Like giraffes, they make use of their skin pattern to camouflage in the bushes.
The African Buffalo is an impressive and distinctive creature known for its intimidating built and horns. The buffaloes typically travel in herds in order to protect themselves from their predators. They are known to be calm animals, but if they feel at risk they can get aggressive. Seeing a herd of buffaloes will be an unforgettable experience for many, but people should remember that they can be very dangerous when together.
Hippos are a common sight in the African rivers, swamps and lakes, especially in southern and eastern Africa. They are usually found in groups of up to 100 at a time, spending most of their time in water. They are territorial and like buffaloes can be aggressive if aggravated. Otherwise, they won’t harm anyone.
- Nile Crocodiles
These are the second largest living reptiles with the biggest on record being 240 ft. They are found throughout the Sub-Saharan Africa and aquatic habitats including lakes, rivers and channels. Nile crocodiles are prefect predators and one shouldn’t underestimate them for being slow. When on a hunt, they can catch up to their victim extremely fast.
There are three types of Zebras in Africa – the plain zebras that are very common in the eastern and southern Africa, the Grey Zebras that are often found on mountains and the black and white zebras. Zebras are grass eaters and like buffaloes and Hippos they like to stay in herds.
Africa is home to some of the most unique yet endangered species and Tanzania has some great safaris that you will remember for a life time.